Oxford United Chairman Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth writes the following notes for the Shrewsbury Town 125th anniversary programme:
Good afternoon everyone and thank you for coming to what should be a fantastic occasion for Oxford United.
We celebrate our 125th Anniversary with many of the stars of the past returning for the game and then a great night planned in the centre of Oxford at the Bodleian Library. It is so important to celebrate the history of this club and we will rightly talk about the great matches, goals and players but I also want to thank a very important group of people who I believe help make this club what it is.
Over the last 125 years there have been countless volunteers and backroom staff who have given their time so freely because of their passion for this club. The original Manor Ground was built in the evening and during their holidays by fans, staff, and even the players and I think that sense of the club belonging to the fans has always stayed with us. Once you are an Oxford fan you are certainly a fan for life; everywhere I go there always seems to be a supporter who comes to tell me ‘I have been a fan for 50 years’!
I love that commitment to the cause and the way you stick with your club whatever division it is in, whether we are at the top or bottom of the table. Obviously more people come to watch a successful side but the core remains the same: the true fans of Oxford United who have seen so much.
Right now the team is slowly climbing up the table, and I think there has been a change over the last few games. We look much harder to break down and each game we play becomes another important step forward. We went up one more place with a very spirited draw at Charlton on Tuesday night; the last three games have seen us go up one position each time. Some would say slow progress but three away draws at Southend, Bristol Rovers and Charlton, with a home win against Plymouth in between, is a good run and I think you can see progress being made.
I know we will get it right. We have exciting players, a Manager and coaches who give it their all, backed by fantastic staff. Off the field you can see the direction we are heading, with the Academy thriving, the new training ground giving us a fantastic base and a new board who I promise you will do the right things for this football club.
Help us celebrate 125 years of history, and be part of the next chapter for Oxford United. Our lads will need a sea of Yellow, backed up with loud noise today against Shrewsbury, to get the three points.
Read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc